Are baked goods the latest vehicles for satire against the Fox News set? Instead of using food for stop-motion reenactments of the last 50 years of America-centric warfare, 60Frames uses an edible item for the purposes of comedy in Lonely Corn Muffin, aka The Loneliest Ultra-Conservative Corn Muffin in the World.
Here’s the premise: a 33 year-old, male corn muffin of presumably Arabic descent with no friends aside from Tom goes on a conservative rampage. And while he can converse a-okay with everyone in the real world, he’s still silent to us, the viewers.
Creators Erica Rivinoja (who has a fairly extensive writing credit list, including a short-stint at South Park) and Elizabeth Tippet raise the stakes of your basic Saturday Night Live-esque inanimate-object-as-main-character by having Lonely Corn Muffin carry out over-the-top reactionism in the matters of abortion, terrorism, immigration and Promise Keepers/spousal abuse.
The filmmakers hit the elusive note of comedy mixed with melancholia in the series premiere, “Right to Death,” by showing our new-to-the-neighborhood corn muffin anti-hero with his one-friend MySpace page and looking for company. Thanks to a terribly sentimental score, you can almost convince yourself that the little guy looks sad. “Don’t be lonely, cornmuffin! I’ll be your friend!” might be something you shout at the screen, but he’s got other plans.
On a quest to be more social, Lonely Corn Muffin convenes with an unlikely crew of anti-abortionists in front of a clinic (look for a Mike White cameo as an abortion doc). Mayhem ensues.
What initially looks to be existential comedy quickly becomes angry comedy: Lonely Corn Muffin is an adrenaline junky for whom protesting just doesn’t suffice. Only violence towards the alleged perpetrators of anti-Americanism will fill whatever loneliness lies beneath that delicious looking muffin top.
You might think now is a bad environment in which to be sending up the flag-bearers of the far right, but when the series launched this summer it was perfect timing. Plus, who knows where the creators will take the premise.
The latest episode, “Promise Keepers,” is about a husband with anger issues (that Corn Muffin goes from new home owner to abusing his wife in four short epiodes takes just a mild leap of faith), so maybe political hot button issues aren’t the only thing that gets Corn Muffin’s husk ruffled.
By the way, Jason Priestly – with beard and longish-hair, no less – has a decent-sized part in “Promise Keepers,” where he plays kinda the same quizzical, concerned Brandon we all know and love, except this time with more Jesus. There’s a great extended moment in this episode in which the characters react to the silent (to us) muffin over a good stretch of time. A great improv exercise, but good acting too.
It’ll be interesting to see how (and if) The Loneliest Ultra-Conservative Corn Muffin in the World evolves. Check it out at 60Frames.com.